The 10 Best Recovery Books

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This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in July of 2018. If you're in any kind of program to deal with addictive behaviors or the effects that such behaviors from someone close to you have had on your life, you'll likely find yourself in need of more than just one recovery book. The selections here are applicable to a number of conditions, from sex addiction to alcoholism, and each has something healing to offer the reader. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Alcoholics Anonymous: Fourth Edition

2. Twenty-Four Hours A Day

3. Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions

Editor's Notes

June 10, 2020:

The road to recovery can be long and winding, but with the proper resources and support, the journey can be fulfilling and positive despite its challenges. With the understanding that people respond differently to certain types of therapies, programs, and even writing styles, we sourced a variety of texts to help readers of all stripes find inspiration, assistance, and understanding. Among our priorities were books written by experts and recovering addicts backed by well-documented success, extensive experience, and research. We also balanced the list out by adding a few volumes that center on overcoming addiction in general, rather than just alcoholism-focused options.

For example, Courage To Change: One Day At A Time and Twenty-Four Hours A Day are both extremely affirming and helpful for the day-to-day. The former is intended for family members and those close to recovering addicts, while the latter is ideal for anyone navigating a recovery journey. If you're looking for more volumes to uplift, you may want to consider something from our list of inspirational books as well.

If you prefer something a bit grittier and more down-to-earth, then Russell Brand's Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions and the newly-added The Addictoholic Deconstructed could each be helpful. Brand's book pulls no punches and is brutally honest, imparting its own brand of hope without coming off as too saccharine. Addictoholic Deconstructed is a must-read for anyone looking to get an understanding of what addiction is from a medical professional, without the usual dry writing and jargon. This book delivers on both accounts, with the added personal insights of someone who's grappled with the disease herself.

We also brought on Sonic Recovery for those looking for alternative methods to incorporate into their treatment plans. It offers evidence-based practices and synthesizes meticulous research into an easily digestible book. It also explains how music can help bring about a relapse, which is enormously helpful for anyone who regularly listens to certain songs and doesn't understand why they might be triggering.

Special Honors

SAMHSA’s National Helpline A subset of the US Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA stands for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. They offer a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service in English and Spanish for those facing mental and/or substance use disorders. Their website also provides resources for people looking for recovery support as well as a disaster distress helpline.

4. Sonic Recovery

5. Recovery Dharma

6. Twelve Steps And Twelve Traditions

7. The Addictoholic Deconstructed

8. Courage To Change: One Day At A Time

9. Sex Addicts Anonymous

10. Pass It On

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Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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